Finding a pad in a new city

Word on the street, is that many of you are attempting to not only move apartments, but move cities as well! Firstly, congratulations – that’s a big, scary move and no matter the impetus be it a significant other, job, family or ___, you deserve kudos for the effort. I should know. I just uprooted my life 6 weeks ago to search for better career opportunities in New York and I’m alive to tell the tale, so it is do-able. I have a bunch of suggestions how to make the move easier, but let’s start with my top three. I’ll be back later this week to round out the list.

1) Find someone who lives in the city you are moving to. It can be a friend, a friend of a friend, your mother’s coworker’s brother – it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s someone who could direct you to the best neighborhoods for your particular needs. The internet is great. Hey, it’s what brings us together, gentle reader! But, it can be overwhelming and confusing trying to understand a city based solely on the internet’s resources. It’s a great reference point, but human contact is best.

2) Find the local newspaper as well as alternative newspapers and consult their nightlife section. Doing so gives you a better feel to the neighborhood’s vibe; if you’re seeing ads for sex shops, watch out! At the same time, if your ‘new’ neighborhood only has 1-2 listings, there may not be a ton of bar/restaurant options, which can be important to some.

3 Decide whether you will fly out there for a weekend and look at places, stay on someone’s couch while you look, or cross your fingers by taking a sublet sight unseen. I’ve known people who have done all three methods with mixed results. Honestly, a lot of it has to do with luck and abilities to handle stress. If you get stressed our easily – moving without an apartment just doesn’t sound healthy for your heart. If you’re more fly by the seat of your pants, then by all means have a go! If you don’t have a friend with a couch, hostels are a great, cheap option as well.

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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